Writer Joseph J. Airdo // Photo Courtesy of El Berraco

Located less than two hours southeast of Phoenix, Tucson boasts numerous ecological attractions — including Tohono Chul, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Seven Falls at Sabino Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Mt. Lemmon, Colossal Cave Mountain Park and Kartchner Caverns State Park. The city is also home to Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory.

In addition to land and space exploration, you may be surprised to learn that Tucson also offers its visitors an opportunity go under the sea via El Berraco — a restaurant that is based on the concept of a submarine.

El Berraco’s shiny silver exterior only hints at the sheer enchantment diners experience upon entry. The interior atmosphere gives diners the impression that they are inside of a submarine while video, audio and lighting systems are utilized to emulate not only the appearance but also the feeling of being underwater.

The truly transcendent ambiance is only the tip of the iceberg, though. The food is where El Berraco really shines, with each dish created by chef Claudia Lopez Burquez as delectable as it is Instagramable.

Owner Benjamin Galaz says that one can think of El Berraco as a submarine that has traveled along the Pacific Coast, tasting local dishes from Peru, Columbia and Panama and recreating them as fantastically flavorful works of art for diners in Tucson.

“History, experience and flavor has been mixed to create a fusion of Latin seafood dishes that will delight every customer,” Galaz says. “That is why our restaurant is in the shape of a submarine. Through the decoration and facilities we use, the customer feels as if they are actually inside a submarine and thus enjoy the atmosphere and our variety of seafood dishes.”

The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes made from fresh, high-quality ingredients to provide diners with an experience that is authentic as possible.

“At El Berraco, we have a firewood oven that we brought from Spain,” Galaz adds. “In that oven, we cook grilled octopus, quesos fundidos, grilled oysters and our famous fish El Zarandeado. Each of these dishes is grilled to perfection and, in every bite, you can taste the flavor of the mesquite firewood in which it was cooked.”

The restaurant also offers a variety of tacos and tostadas that combine different seafood recipes and are served with a wide variety of homemade sauces and dressings.

Regardless where in Arizona you roam this summer, you are guaranteed to find breathtaking views and mouthwatering meals.

El Berraco // 2960 N. First Ave., Tucson // 520-620-9828 // el-berraco.com